How To Choose a Mobile App Payment Gateway


When creating your own new eCommerce solution, one of the crucial functional elements to pay particular attention to is the payment gateway. You could certainly build a custom gateway as well, but this would be a reasonable option in only one case - if you wish to enhance your web development skills. Otherwise, a readymade payment gateway (or its API, to be exact) can save a lot of your time and money. Do you want to find out how to choose a payment gateway so that everything works well for your particular case? Let’s figure out how to make this happen.

6 Criteria for Choosing a Payment Gateway

First things first, you should define which types of gateways your eCommerce platform supports (the platform your store will be built on). This way, we can significantly narrow down the list of reasonable gateway options. You could compose an API individually, but, again, this will take a lot of time and effort. We’ll go in the direction that's the most painless for developers.

Take a look at the following 6 criteria that will help you select the best payment gateway option for your particular situation.

Software Suppliers’ Loyalty to your Business Niche

Generally, not many gateway software suppliers are willing to provide their API for eCommerce projects that belong to one of the following niches:

  • Gambling businesses (as a rule, suppliers from the USA and China tend to avoid such businesses, as this type of online gaming is officially restricted there)
  • Smoking industry and tobacco manufacturers
  • Intellectual property
  • BADS distribution
  • Adult content

Is your business in the above list? Before checking the following criterion, clarify with your selected provider whether they’re okay with providing services for your particular business.

Compliance with PCI DSS Policies

Make sure the selected payment gateway fully complies with PCI DSS policies (which, by the way, become more strict by the year; the certification must always be renewed during the current year). Otherwise, you won’t be able to protect your users form online scammers that can potentially break into your gateway.

Capabilities a Payment Gateway Provides

If you don’t have a merchant account yet, the best choice would be a gateway that will automatically create one upon registration. Stripe and PayPal can do that. They take quite a high commission, however (which can often be really painful for merchants with high annual product turnover and an equally large number of customers). If we’re talking about the launch of a large-scale marketplace where hundreds of daily transactions would be taking place, it’d be far more rational to choose a payment gateway without a banking account attachment (which you will have to create individually). Among the most popular examples are SagePay and PayPoint. You will have to spend some time on configurations and integration with your account, but at least this won’t affect the cost of implementing the gateway in any way.

Continuance of the Service Package

Experience shows that even the most famous gateways (like PayPal) can be insufficient in the long run for projects that are already using them. If you are creating a platform with the possibility of significant growth, consider whether you will be able to break the service package deal without taking significant financial losses. Unfortunately, not all payment gateway providers will offer a reasonably-priced service package. So before making your choice, we strongly recommend analyzing how much you could lose if you decide to switch gateways before your payment term is finished.

Price of Use

Every payment capabilities provider issues their own unique payment plans that depend directly on the range of services provided. The vast majority of gateways are quite limited in their capabilities, so the creators of really advanced ‘all-in-one’ solutions tend to offer very high, unreasonable pricing (on the other hand, the creation of a custom gateway and further PCI adherence will be much more expensive from the perspective of the time and effort needed).

Support of the Required Payment Systems

There are four widespread systems for online transactions - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Network. Nevertheless, certain payment solutions only support the first two (which are the most renowned). Clarify whether the provider works with all of the mentioned payment systems–this will increase the accessibility of your eCommerce solution’s services.

Read also: How to Integrate Payment Gateway in a Mobile App

Top 4 Most Popular Payment Gateways

We review and compare the top 5 most popular mobile app payment gateways below. These gateways have been successfully implemented in eCommerce solutions of various types by a significant number of business owners and entrepreneurs.

mobile payment gateway comparison


Stripe is an incredibly popular solution for convenient digital transactions. Its main advantages include an integrated Sigma service that allows Stripe to view sales data and other analytics in real time, and the support of alternative transaction methods like Alipay, ACH, and Bitcoin. The price per one transaction here is similar to PayPal, and is 2.9% + $0.30 (inside the country), and an additional 1% for international transactions.


PayPal4 is perfect for mobile app payment processing. Due to its popularity and status as a world-renowned solution, it brings companies up to 44% more conversions during the payment process. PayPal also provides good online support and its shopping cart is widely compatibile with all the major e-commerce platforms. To date, there are different versions of the platform available, such as PayPal Payments Pro (the only version that allows you to accept payments right on your website; all other versions require the customer to log into the PayPal main system, which functions separately from the website), PayPal Express Checkout, and Braintree. The main disadvantage here is the cost–2.9% + $0.30 per transaction inside the country; international transactions cost an additional 4.4% plus the fixed price.


The WePay gateway features the capability of processing complex payments, such as payments from multiple parties at once or crowdfunding campaigns. It also integrates with websites of various scales. The service offers contemporary remote payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. WePay issues a standard service pricing: 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction.

Simplify Commerce

Last but not least in our brief comparison of the most popular mobile payment gateways is Simplify Commerce – an offspring of MasterCard. Its focus is facilitating the process of receiving payments for your business. It provides a simple integration via .NET, PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java, and can be used in apps for iOS and Android platforms. It's also worth noting that the service boasts an enhanced level of protection for user data. Their commission is 2.75% + $0.30 per transaction.


As you can see for yourself, there’s a bunch of options to choose from when deciding on a mobile app payment gateway (especially if you have a good guide at hand). Among the most frequently used in-app payment solutions are Paypal and Stripe. However, the ultimate choice may depend on multiple factors, and we can’t give a firm recommendation as to which you should choose in the long run. Be diligent and thorough in selecting the support system for your business.

If you need a highly professional approach for the creation of your application or another solution (including an expert consultation on choosing a payment gateway for your mobile app), let us help! We have created dozens of custom eCommerce solutions and will gladly fulfill your tasks. Contact us and our employees will get back to you as soon as possible.

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